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The Value of Health and Sickness – Exploring Two Aspects of Being Human


 

 

Health and Wellbeing When They’re Not At Home

Imagine always being in full, blooming, radiant good health, all of the time. Never an ache or a pain, no colds, viruses, cuts, scratches, bruises or discomfort. Ever.

Finished imagining? Good, ‘cos that is the closest any of us are  gonna get to it.  The reality is that we’re all human and along with that particular condition, comes many others. No matter how fit you are, no matter how nutritious your diet or how healthy your habits – chances are every now and again, through no fault of your own, you will suffer from something. If it is still tempting to make the easy conclusion (as I myself might) that if you eat sensibly, exercise often and basically keep your bad habits to a minimum then all will be fine, then you need a reality check (note to self).

The Symptoms

So why am I having this sudden reflection? You guessed it – I’m sick. I have been all week (hence the fewer posts this week). Yes even though my old friends, Enthusiasm and Passion have still been sharing my personal space, it appears that when a couple of other dodgy characters called Headache and Nausea drop by, these old friends go a little quiet.  They went completely silent when Dizziness came in the door and have decided they are happy to lay quietly on the couch until these three new intruders decide they’re ready to leave. That time is almost here. Thankfully.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to manufacture my sickness into a larger than it needs to be problem. I am well aware there are multitudes of people worse off than me.

The Silver Lining

So yes I am avoiding the pity party thing altogether. I’ll live. In fact (and I’m not sure if this fact makes me slightly pathological or not) but as the week has gone on, each day with my sickness still apparent, I have decided that I might as well try to enjoy it. As the playwright George Bernard Shaw has written,

”I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.”

Too ill to do much (basically for fear of passing out) I have been laying on the couch and reading. And reading. And reading. And reading. I am now half way through a book that I had put aside to read ‘ when I had the time ‘. And I gotta say, I’ve enjoyed myself.

Maybe the Panadol helped somewhat, but the simple ‘time out’, with no distractions, just the simple indulgence of some reflective reading has actually been enjoyable and in many ways, productive.

Maybe this is what is meant by the Latin proverb which states:-

”In time of sickness, the soul collects itself anew”.

Enjoying Health All Of It

My final conclusion about all this is that perhaps we do need sickness as well as good health in our lives. If only for the reason that it makes us better understand and appreciate the importance of good health, instead of taking it for granted.

And perhaps also, so we do have some time ‘to collect ourselves anew’.

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What do you think about these two sides of the human condition – are our worthwhile days only those when health and well-being shine like beacons or do you think there is some value that we are meant to derive from experiencing suffering and sickness too? 

Perhaps you may also have a‘sick day’ story to share? 

Are you are the veritable bear with a sore head when you’re sick or do you not  mind a day or two out of the rat race?

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